Award-winning short film about Donner Party to be honored |

Award-winning short film about Donner Party to be honored

Know & Go

What: Celebration of Telly Award Winners

When: Saturday, Aug. 24, 5:30 - 8 p.m.

Where: Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center, 12593 Donner Pass Road

Earlier this year, the short film “The Donner Party Rescuers: Survival and Heroism in the Mountains” was named Bronze Winner for its category at the 40th annual Telly Awards.

The film, which tells the story of the men who walked through 30 feet of snow to save starving pioneers trapped at Donner Lake in 1847, was one of more than 12,000 entries received by the Telly Awards.

The annual awards showcase the best work created across a variety of categories within television and video, for all screens. “The Donner Party Rescuers: Survival and Heroism in the Mountains” was named Bronze Winner: General — Branded Content.

Entrants, according to the Telly Awards, are judged by an industry body of more than 200 leading experts, including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks.

The film about the rescue of pioneers at Donner Lake, along with two other Telly Award winners from past years, and another film about the history of the Truckee-Tahoe area will be screened next week at Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center as part of a celebratory evening.

The other films to be screened include: “From Dirt to Asphalt: Transforming Donner Pass,” which was a 2015 Bronze Winner, and shows early attempts to drive over Donner Pass and the completion of a paved road from New York to San Francisco; “On the Road with the Green Book Guide: African-American Travel,” a 2018 Silver Winner about the challenges faced by black families on the open road; and “The Work of Giants,” which follows the path of Chinese workers as the they tunneled through Donner Summit in order to create the Transcontinental Railroad.

Sacramento State University Creative Services developed each short film in partnership with California State Parks.

The evening, which runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday Aug. 24, includes a discussion panel of producers, directors, historians, and actors from each film. Snacks and adult beverages will also be available. Parking and entrance to the visitor center are free.

For further information and to learn more about these videos as well as other exhibits offered at Donner Memorial State Park, please contact the park at 530-582-7892 or visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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